Prolific Rhyl shoplifter gets chance 'to break the cycle' after recent thefts

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Rhyl Journal)

One of Britain’s most prolific shoplifters, reputed to have spent more than half his life in jail, was given a chance “to break the cycle” by a court.

David Archer, aged 61, admitted stealing a bottle of wine from a store at Rhyl on January 12 and perfume worth £134 from Boots at Llandudno five days later.

James Neary, prosecuting at Llandudno Magistrates Court, said Archer, of Bath Street, Rhyl, had 167 previous convictions for 379 offences, 290 involving thefts.

Archer had complained to police that he was being victimised and that everyone knew his name and address but that was unsurprising as he was known as the most prolific shoplifter in North Wales, said the prosecutor.

“You may think it is the shopkeepers who are being victimised by the defendant,” Mr Neary said.

Defence solicitor Roger Thomas said Archer had been released from prison on October 9 and five months was the longest time he had been out of trouble and jail for years. He was no longer taking illegal drugs but was on the substitute, methadone.

His problem was that when he was under any pressure he drank, and this led him into trouble.

After a report from a probation officer magistrates agreed to impose a 12-month alcohol treatment requirement, with a 15-day rehabilitation activity.

He must pay £304 in costs and compensation.

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